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The Automobile and American Life Paperback – March 14, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0786440139 ISBN-10: 0786440139
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The prose is almost flawless, and the writing never feels beleaguered...it is almost like the author enjoyed every topic and every page. Highly recommended. All collections." --Choice

"A great starting point for any student of American automotive history and a worthwhile addition to a collector's bookshelf." --Autoweek

"Fun, informative, and close to a prewar bull's eye!" --Prewar Auto Notes

"A great starting point for any student of American automotive history and a worthwhile addition to a collector's bookshelf." --Autoweek

"Fun, informative, and close to a prewar bull's eye!" --Prewar Auto Notes

About the Author

John Heitmann is alumni chair in humanities and a professor of history at the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland (March 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786440139
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786440139
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #831,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Heitmann grew up in Kenmore, New York, and later received degrees from Davidson College (B.S., 1970), Clemson University (MA, 1974), and Johns Hopkins University (PhD, 1983). An historian of science and technology and former chemist, he joined the faculty at the University of Dayton in 1983, where he is currently a professor of history. John has several loves in his life beyond his wife, Kaye and daughter, Lisa. He loves to play tennis, and does so competitively, although old age has seeming hit him like a ton of bricks as fragile knees have slowed him down on the court the past year or so. He also loves cars, going back to his first, a 1959 MGA, and his current vehicle, a 1971 Porsche 911 T Targa. As he has discovered over the years, John enjoys driving cars, but only to a lesser degree does he find joy in working on them. He does so, however, often with a moderate degree of frustration. After years about writing on historical topics of little direct interest to him, John now writes on automobiles, the road, and anything that connects to his life in the present and past. You can catch up to him by reading his blog at http://automobileandamericanlife.blogspot.com/.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. Brooks on March 16, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent and thorough examination of how much of an impact the automobile has had on modern day society. Heitmann's enthusiasm for both automobiles and history shows as he
discusses how the automobile has influenced all aspects of American society and how society has shaped the automobile. This is a must read for anyone interested in cars or history buffs.
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Highly readable and entertaining, John Heitmann’s The Automobile in American Life offers the automobile aficionado, gearhead, aspiring gearhead, and/or American history scholar a thorough knowledge of how the automobile – and the automotive industry – has shaped and reshaped America’s physical and fiscal landscape. Beginning with horses, bicycles, and impassable roads, this book examines the automobile industry’s place in American history from the early 20th century to the contemporary issues facing Americans and their beloved automobiles.

The Automobile in American Life illustrates the author’s mastery of the social/technological impact of the American public’s affinity for automobiles for conveyance, identity and status. From overview to in-depth analysis, no stone is left unturned or, to be more correct, no hood is left unlatched as the reader is immersed in the fascinating world of America and her relationship to the automobile.

I can only add that if you are interested in cars and why we love them or, if you know a gearhead and would like to understand why he/she is so obsessed with the blessing and curse of the internal combustion engine as well as the art, engineering, history and mystery that surrounds this cultural icon, you will want to read this book.
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By J. D. Hovland on May 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While in the midst of writing a novel related to a new transportation technology I was looking for a good book related to the way the automobile's introduction spurred cultural change and after much searching found this. It was a great read and led me to a lot of information I needed.
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An excellent book for the overview of the development of the auto industry and how the automobile changed our lives socially, economically, and even politically.
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By xpagalejandro on March 30, 2015
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Excellent book, equilibrate and innovative in some themes that are aborded for the most books in the matter.
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